Archive for September, 2023

Traumatic Brain Injury Risks in Construction

Working in construction comes with inherent risks; among them, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a significant concern. Every day, construction workers face potential TBI risks on the job.

Head and brain injuries are common in construction

Although head injuries are largely preventable, they remain a considerable hazard for construction workers. With National Concussion Awareness Day falling in September, we can shed light on the various forms of TBIs, ranging from minor concussions to more severe cases, and underscore the importance of awareness and safety measures within the construction industry.

In the unfortunate event of a construction-related TBI, it’s essential to understand that you have legal rights and options available to you. Seeking compensation for your injuries and ensuring that your rights are protected can be a complex process, which is why consulting an experienced construction accident lawyer is crucial.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

According to Occupational Health & Safety, a traumatic brain injury affects the brain’s normal function. TBIs can happen from a direct hit to the head, a penetrating injury, or a jolt. You may be suffering from a TBI if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Fatigue

Traumatic brain injuries can vary in levels of severity. At the milder end of the spectrum are concussions, which typically involve temporary symptoms like confusion and headaches. More severe TBIs can result in long-term complications such as impaired motor skills, cognitive deficits, mood disorders, and, in the most serious cases, coma or permanent disability.

Fall-related TBIs

Falls are a leading cause of traumatic brain injuries among construction workers. They often happen when workers are exposed to dangerous situations, such as working at heights. Common factors that can cause a fall on a construction site include:

  • Lack of fall protection
  • Absence of safety equipment such as guardrails
  • Misuse of ladders and other equipment
  • Failure to use protective gear
  • Slippery or uneven surfaces
  • Weather conditions

TBIs resulting from construction falls frequently occur due to a direct impact on the ground or other hard surfaces. Despite using safety gear like hard hats, the force of a direct impact can still be strong enough to cause a TBI.

Struck by falling and flying objects

In the construction industry, there’s another significant TBI risk: flying and falling objects. These accidents happen when materials, tools, or debris are propelled into the air, often due to equipment malfunctions, improper handling, or weather conditions. The risk of these objects becoming airborne increases when work zones are crowded and busy work zones.

When an object hits a worker, the impact can lead to an injury because of the force and weight involved. These accidents can result in various levels of TBIs, ranging from mild concussions to skull fractures and even penetrating wounds.

Talk to a workers’ comp attorney today

Construction workers who’ve sustained traumatic brain injuries may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, eligibility doesn’t always ensure you receive benefits. Navigating workers’ compensation cases can be challenging, but having the guidance of an experienced workers’ comp attorney can make all the difference.

At the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl, we have a deep understanding of workers’ compensation systems in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We work tirelessly to demand the compensation you rightfully deserve. Contact us for a free consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney who will stand by your side when it matters most.

Preventing Struck-By Objects Accidents at Work

An accident in a warehouse. Woman running towards her colleague lying on the floor next to a forklift.

Struck-by accidents are a common cause of workplace injuries and fatalities. They occur when workers get struck-by objects and can happen in a wide range of industries and settings. They typically involve contact with tools, equipment, vehicles, materials, or even falling objects.

Employers play a crucial role in preventing struck-by accidents

Knowing the potential risks on the job and what action to take if you’re injured is important. The workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl discuss the four types of struck-by accidents, how employers can prevent them, and how to file a claim.

What are the four types of struck-by objects accidents?

There are four main categories of struck-by accidents, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

  • Struck-by flying object: This occurs when an object becomes airborne and strikes a worker. For example, a tool or material may be ejected from a machine and hit a worker.
  • Struck-by falling object: This type of accident happens when an object falls from a height and strikes a worker below. It can occur in construction, manufacturing, or warehouse environments where materials or equipment are stored or moved overhead.
  • Struck-by swinging object: In this scenario, an object that is being swung or suspended strikes a worker. This can include cranes, hoists, or equipment on a swing arm.
  • Struck-by rolling object: This type of accident involves objects that roll, move, or slide. Examples include vehicles, forklifts, and carts.

What should employers do to prevent struck-by accidents?

Preventing struck-by object accidents is a crucial aspect of workplace safety. Employers can take various measures to reduce the risk, such as:

  • Providing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Implementing safety training programs
  • Securing materials and objects properly at heights
  • Storing heavy items close to the floor
  • Using safety barriers and warning signs
  • Securing loose items
  • Using caution around corners
  • Lifting all loads evenly
  • Training workers on potential hazards and encouraging them to follow safe worker practices.

What should I do if I was injured in a struck-by object work accident?

If you’ve been injured in a struck-by accident at work, taking certain steps to protect your legal rights is essential. Here’s what you should do:

  • Seek immediate medical attention: Even if your injuries seem minor, getting a medical evaluation is important. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but could worsen without treatment.
  • Report the accident: Inform your supervisor or employer about the incident immediately. Be sure to follow your workplace’s specific reporting procedures. Provide a detailed account of the accident, including the date, time, location, and any witnesses present.
    Document the incident: Write down a description of how the accident occurred and any contributing factors. If possible, take photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, and any equipment or objects involved. Visual evidence can be valuable when filing a workers’ compensation claim.
  • Follow doctor’s orders: Attend all medical appointments and follow your healthcare provider’s treatment plan. Also, keep records of your medical treatment, including diagnoses, prescriptions, and medical bills.
  • File a workers’ compensation claim: To recover medical expenses and lost wages, you’ll need to file a workers’ compensation claim. You’ll have to apply in Massachusetts or Rhode Island to start the process. The application process can be confusing. To avoid any delays in your compensation, it’s best to have an experienced workers’ comp lawyer help you.
  • Consult with an attorney: To receive financial benefits, you’ll need to prove that your injury was work-related. Be sure to consult with an attorney who can gather the facts and present your case before the Massachusetts or Rhode Island workers’ compensation boards. An attorney can also advise you on your legal rights, help you navigate the workers’ compensation system, and handle all the complex paperwork.

Contact a workers’ comp lawyer today

If you’ve been injured in a struck-by accident in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, an attorney at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl can help. We know how workers’ compensation cases work and have a proven track record of successfully representing injured workers.

Take the first step and contact us online to schedule your free consultation. We’ll work tirelessly to help you get the benefits you deserve while you focus on recovery.